Socialist Worker

Thousands march for Palestine in London as the G7 meets

by Isabel Ringrose
Issue No. 2759

Outside Downing Street for Palestine

Outside Downing Street for Palestine (Pic: Guy Smallman)


Around 8,000 protesters joined a rally outside Downing Street on Saturday to demand freedom for Palestine.

After the rally, the crowd then marched to the Israeli Embassy in west London.

The rally, held on the same weekend as the G7 met in Cornwall, called for sanctions on Israel and for an end to its occupation of Palestine.

Attendees were very young, radical and angry. Macy told Socialist Worker she was amazed "by the energy of the crowd".

Macy said she joined the rally because of Israel's latest wave of violence against Palestinians in the occupied territories and within its official borders.

Israel bombarded Gaza with airstrikes for 11 days, killing over 250 people.

Remembering the vitcims of Israeli terror

Remembering the viictims of Israeli terror (Pic: Guy Smallman)


"The G7 are supposedly powerful people—but you don't need to be a rich, old, white man to have a political effect," she said. "Young people want to change things."

Calum added, "I'm Irish and I've seen a lot of solidarity from Irish people with Palestinians—it's a similar situation of oppression and colonialism.

"There's solidarity here for everyone to fight to free all."

Throughout the rally protesters waved Palestinian flags and lit flares in the flag's colours.

Palestine Action activists occupy drone factory in Runcorn
Palestine Action activists occupy drone factory in Runcorn
  Read More

A memorial was also set up to remember the children who were brutally killed by the Israeli airstrikes.

And loud chants of "From the river to the sea, Palestine will be free" and "Free, free Palestine" rang out.

A speaker for Friends of Al-Asqa, one of the groups who organised the protest, told the crowd, "We need to have a debate about sanctions. But we don't stop here.

"We stand in solidarity with Palestinian people. We do not give up, we continue to campaign.

"We want justice, action, boycott and sanctions."

Salina told Socialist Worker the mass movement for Palestine, including a mobilisation of 180,000 in London last month, gave her "hope".

"People protesting is power. It shows how many people know what the problem is," she said.

"It shows we can't be silenced. And it puts the government under pressure. We're telling them to listen to the voice of the people."

US dockers and campaigners block Israeli ship in solidarity with Palestine
US dockers and campaigners block Israeli ship in solidarity with Palestine
  Read More

Rushdi said he was glad more people are talking about Palestine. "People can't ignore Israel's actions anymore," he said.

"You can't claim to fight for human rights and not support Palestine—it’s an example of imperialism."

Another speaker, a British Palestinian student, slammed the complacency and inaction of the G7.

"They thought a ceasefire would make us forget Palestine. But our support will always be there. We demand an end to all complicity with Israel," she demanded.

Students will march on 9 July to back the Boycott, Divestment, Sanction (BDS) movement and to call for an end to Israeli apartheid.

Amira explained to Socialist Worker that "the BDS movement is vital to raise awareness of what is coming out of Israel".

"Boycotting its profits also hurts it financially,'' she said. "Any solidarity with the Palestinian people shows we're serious, and won't stop fighting.”


New Israeli prime minister, same hate

Israel’s new prime minister Naftali Bennett will continue the brutal oppression of Palestinians.

The right wing nationalist has vowed to unite the country, adding that his leadership would “work for the sake of all the people”In truth this means uniting Israeli settlers by continuing a brutal reign over Palestinians.

Bennett has previously said, “I already have killed lots of Arabs in my life, and there is absolutely no problem with that.”

Bennett will replace Binyamin Netanyahu who led an agenda of racism and brutality for 12 years.

But he won’t be any better, and has described himself as “more right wing” than his predecessor.

Oppression

Bennett’s government will be formed from an unlikely coalition of parties, which will continue the oppression of Palestine.

Although this coalition includes liberal and green parties, their acceptance of Bennett shows their true agenda.

Sam Ord 


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